Refine Your Research

Language is a powerful tool which shapes beliefs, perpetuates inequalities, challenges power structures and fosters meaningful connections. Throughout the program, you will engage in a variety of research projects, collaborate with colleagues on and off campus and experience teaching in the college classroom. Our program equips you to leave a lasting legacy in academia, non-profit, the public sector or wherever your passion for communication leads you.

Note: Our Ph.D. program in Rhetoric and Composition is not intended to be completed fully online; however, students may take up to 49 percent of coursework online as noted in our course catalog.

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Careers

Earning your Ph.D. in English prepares you to teach at the college or university level. Join a rewarding program that deepens your understanding of literary theory and criticism. Other careers in higher education, academic publishing and editing may require a Ph.D.

Career Possibilities and Current Median Salaries

Professors
$78,470
High School Teachers
$60,320

US DOL Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2018

See Yourself Succeed with a Ph.D. Degree in English

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Enrich Your Education

Our multidisciplinary department offers a range of specialties from applied linguistics to film history. Our well-rounded programs will enable you to understand cultural and social differences within the framework of literature and languages.

An educator teaching a student who is setting at a computer while wearing headphones.

Dedicated Faculty

Engage with exceptional faculty who will teach you to read well and write often. Our faculty are committed to improving your analytical skills and offer insight into the use and structure of language, literature and film.

A male and female writing at a table.

Lead Students to Success

Teach undergraduate students how to read often and write well. Through our Writing Center and teaching assistant program, you’ll work with undergraduate students as you mentor and tutor.

School exam student's taking educational admission test in class, thinking hard, writing answer in university classroom, education and world literacy day concept
A female educator with big smile reading a poem to audience.

Career Readiness

Thinking critically and communicating effectively. That's what employers are looking for. The College of Humanities, Social Sciences and Arts is dedicated to providing you the knowledge and resources for excelling in the workforce.

A female professor lecturing during class.

What you will learn

A Ph.D. in English will offer you the opportunity to:

  • Join the academic discussions with peers and professors on campus and at professional conferences.
  • Benefit from small class sizes and one-on-one mentorship from experts across various fields
  • Receive substantial knowledge in composition and rhetoric theory and practice.
  • Research areas that interest you and contribute to the evolution of rhetoric and composition studies
  • Put composition and writing theories to practice as a teaching assistant for the Department of Literature and Languages
Man reading book from podium.

Faculty Spotlight

Ashanka Kumari, Ph.D.

Multimodal Composition, Cultural Rhetorics, and Writing Program Administration

Shannon Carter, Ph.D.

Evangelical Rhetoric, Racial Justice, Prison Literacy and The New Deal Era’s Federal Writers Project

Gavin P. Johnson, Ph.D.

“Everyone engaging AI should endeavor to imagine ethical, sustainable, and accountable futures.”

Kelin Loe, Ph.D.

Writing Center Administration, Rhetorical Studies, Writing Program Administration

Charles Woods, Ph.D.

Cultural Rhetorics, digital rhetoric, privacy and surveillance

Alumni Profiles

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Experience the Classroom

Gain the experience you need by teaching English 1301 or 1302 at the university level. Doctoral students will have the opportunity to serve as teaching assistants in order to meet residency requirements, though students who are not able to serve as teaching assistants may fulfill requirements in alternate ways. Contact Dr. Gavin P. Johnson, writing program coordinator, for more information.

Man reading book to a classroom.

Course Delivery

Our Ph.D. program in Rhetoric and Composition is not intended to be completed fully online; however, students may take up to 49 percent of coursework online as noted in our course catalog. Our flexible programs are designed for current educators and working professionals. Whether a full or part-time student, you can complete the program at your own pace. We offer face-to-face courses at our main campus location as well as a fully online Ph.D. in English with an emphasis in Applied Linguistics and master's programs and certificates.

Please check the schedule of classes for locations and times. Locations and times are subject to change.

PROGRAM COSTS

Tuition and fees for graduate students taking nine credit hours are $3,669 for Texas residents and $7,341 for non-residents.

Admission

Your Path to Becoming a Lion

Deadlines

Fall admission consideration: ApplyTexas application due May 1. All documents due May 15.
Spring admission consideration: ApplyTexas Application due November 15. All documents due Dec. 1.
Summer admission consideration: ApplyTexas Application due April 1. All documents due April 15.

Submit Application

  • Select “Create a new graduate school admissions application.”
  • Select “Texas A&M University-Commerce (Commerce)” as your “Target University.”

  • Select “English, PHD” as your “Major.”

Domestic Application Fee 395064

  • Pay the $50 application fee.
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Wait to receive an application confirmation email before proceeding to the next step.

  • After you submit your application, the Graduate School will send a confirmation email within two business days to the personal email account you used for ApplyTexas.

Submit the following documents after you receive an application confirmation email.

Graduate Coordinator Dayla Burgin

Your Graduate Coordinator

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Contact your previous institution(s) and request that they send your official transcripts to your graduate coordinator.

  • We recommend that you request transcripts for all of your academic work.

All international transcripts must be evaluated and the evaluation submitted to the Graduate School.

We accepts evaluations sent directly from the following Agencies.

  • If a normal evaluation is submitted, official original transcripts with all marksheets will still need to be submitted.
  • If a WES ICAP or equivalent is submitted, we will not need the official transcripts to be submitted separately.

To be considered for admission, one of the following is required

  • a bachelor's degree with an overall GPA of 2.75 or higher, or
  • a bachelor’s degree with a GPA of 3.0 or higher in the last 60 hours, or
  • an awarded master's degree with an overall GPA of 3.4 or higher.

If you have a non-thesis master's degree, you must complete a thesis prior to doctoral candidacy (empirical thesis can be completed in our program en route to the dissertation and doctoral candidacy).

If your institution is unable to submit a digital copy, hard copies may be mailed to:

Texas A&M University-Commerce
Attn: Graduate School
PO Box 3011
Commerce, Texas 75429-3011

We will need official/original documents. If those documents are the only copies you have, the Graduate School can mail them back to you upon request. Contact your graduate coordinator for more information.

Submit a Statement of Goals (two pages, double-spaced) that addresses the following questions:

  • What is your area of study? (linguistics, literature, etc)
  • Why do you want to study that particular area?
  • What do you hope this degree leads to? What are your goals?
  • Are there any professors you would like to study under?

Submit a resume or curriculum vitae (CV) which includes your academic and professional history and achievements.

Submit a sample of your writing that contains:

  • a one or two pieces of your academic prose (no more than 10 pages total) and
  • a two-page statement of your background, interests and goals as they relate to your graduate work in English.

Request two signed letters of recommendation, on letterhead, from professionals who can attest to your goals and ability to succeed in the program. Those individuals should:

One or both of the references should hold a doctoral degree.

Review the Application Packet for more information.

Look for application updates in myLeo > Apps > Check Application Status

  • Once an admission decision has been made, you will receive an email to your student email account at myLeo > Apps > Leomail.

  • Apply for scholarships and graduate assistantships once you are admitted.
  • Apply for financial aid by submitting a FAFSA and sending it to school code 003565.
  • Contact your financial aid advisor with any questions.

Once registration opens and you are eligible to enroll, your graduate enrollment specialist will contact you to complete registration.

  • View your degree plan in DegreeWorks.
  • To register for classes, go to myLeo > Student Resources > Registration Menu.

Contact your graduate enrollment specialist if you have any questions regarding your degree plan and registration.

Graduate Enrollment Specialist Jennifer Faunce

Your Graduate Enrollment Specialist

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Deadlines

Fall admission consideration: May 15
Spring admission consideration: October 1
Summer admission consideration: February 15

Submit Application

  • Select “Create a new graduate school admissions application.”
  • Select “Texas A&M University-Commerce (Commerce)” as your “Target University.”
  • Select “English, PHD” as your “Major.”

International Application Fee

  • Pay the $75 application fee
Back to menu

Wait to receive an application confirmation email before proceeding to the next step.

  • After you submit your application, the Graduate School will send a confirmation email within two business days to the personal email account you used for ApplyTexas.

Submit the following documents after you receive an application confirmation email.

Graduate Coordinator Dayla Burgin

Your Graduate Coordinator

Back to menu

Contact your previous institution(s) and request that they send your official transcripts to your graduate coordinator.

  • We recommend that you request transcripts for all of your academic work.

To be considered for admission one of the following is required

  • a bachelor's degree with an overall GPA of 2.75 or higher,
  • a bachelor’s degree with a GPA of 3.0 or higher in the last 60 hours, or
  • an awarded master's degree with an overall GPA of 3.4 or higher.

If your institution is unable to submit a digital copy, hard copies may be mailed to:

Texas A&M University-Commerce
Attn: Graduate School
PO Box 3011
Commerce, Texas 75429-3011

We will need official/original documents. If those documents are the only copies you have, the Graduate School can mail them back to you upon request. Contact your graduate coordinator for more information.

All international transcripts must be evaluated and the evaluation submitted to the Graduate School.

We accept evaluations sent directly from the following Agencies.

  • If a normal evaluation is submitted, official original transcripts with all marksheets will still need to be submitted.
  • If a WES ICAP or equivalent is submitted, we will not need the official transcripts to be submitted separately.

Submit a Statement of Goals (two pages, double-spaced) that addresses the following questions:

  • What is your area of study? (linguistics, literature, etc)
  • Why do you want to study that particular area?
  • What do you hope this degree leads to? What are your goals?
  • Are there any professors you would like to study under?

Submit a resume or curriculum vitae (CV) which includes your academic and professional history and achievements.

  • a one or two pieces of your academic prose (no more than 10 pages total) and
  • a two-page statement of your background, interests, and goals as they relate to your graduate work in English.

Request two signed letters of recommendation, on letterhead, from professionals who can attest to your goals and ability to succeed in the program. Those individuals should:

One or both of the references should hold a doctoral degree.

Record a video of yourself answering each of the prompts below, upload it to the platform of your choice, and share the link to your video with us via an email to your graduate coordinator.

Your video should not exceed 30 minutes in length.

  1. Begin with a brief self-introduction.
  2. What motivates you to pursue a Ph.D. degree in linguistics/applied linguistics?
  3. Do you think you are the right candidate for our Ph.D. program? Why?
  4. Have you conducted a research project before? If yes, please describe it briefly.
  5. What research areas would you explore and what research projects would you conduct if you were amitted to our Ph.D. program? Is there a particular faculty member that you would like to work with?
  6. What teaching experiences do you have?
  7. Are you interested in the online or face-to-face option?
  8. How much time/effort do you envisage the Ph.D. to require every week? Have you taken any online courses before?
  9. Do you have anything else you want us to know?

Note: Do not send the video file directly (e.g., as an attachment to an email). Be sure to use a platform, such as YouTube, which does not require registration or payment to upload the video and remember to check the accessibility of your link before submitting it to us (e.g., If using YouTube, the visibility setting of your video should either be public or unlisted, but not private). Visual aids (e.g., PPT slides) are encouraged but not required. If using visual aids, we would still like to see your face in the video (i.e., no voiceover presentations).

Submit these documents to the Office of International Programs once you have been admitted

  • Official sponsor statement
  • Bank statement from the sponsor with a balance of at least $26,025 USD which is less than 1 year old

See the Office of International Program's “Confirmation of Financial Resource” for more details.

You do not need to submit test scores if you have completed (all years) of a bachelor's or higher degree from a regionally accredited university in the United States.

Request that your scores from one of the following be sent to Texas A&M University-Commerce:

  • TOEFL (Minimum Scores: IBT 79, or CBT 213, or PBT 550)
  • IELTS (Minimum Score: 6.00 band overall)
  • PTE (Minimum Score: 53 overall or higher)
  • Duo Lingo (Minimum Score: 105)

*Scores must be less than two years old.

Review the Application Packet for more information.

Look for application updates in myLeo > Apps > Check Application Status

  • Once an admission decision has been made, you will receive an email to your student email account at myLeo > Apps > Leomail.

  • Apply for scholarships and graduate assistantships once you are admitted.
  • Apply for financial aid by submitting a FAFSA and sending it to school code 003565.
  • Contact your financial aid advisor with any questions.

Once registration opens and you are eligible to enroll, your graduate enrollment specialist will contact you to complete registration.

  • View your degree plan in DegreeWorks.
  • To register for classes, go to myLeo > Student Resources > Registration Menu.

Contact your graduate enrollment specialist if you have any questions regarding your degree plan and registration.

Graduate Enrollment Specialist Jennifer Faunce

Your Graduate Enrollment Specialist

Back to menu

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